(THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY ROY GHIM.)
Reading WiF? usually means recapping a great show in around Frederick…today we reverse the order and present a quick n’ dirty preview of what should be an amazing Saturday June 22nd in the year of our jebus 2019. Here we go:
Start your day marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in NYC that sparked the gay rights revolution in the US and now commemorated in Frederick’s very own Pride celebration. The FNP did several stories recently (and is one of the sponsors of Frederick Pride – ironic given its editorial right wing tilt lately) of Saturday’s Frederick Pride, it’s 8th year at Carrol Creek park downtown and expected to have a whopping crowd upwards to 8000 or more. Do check out Kate Master’s companion excellent piece on Frederick native Joshua Diggs – who goes by his musical moniker Sonny Apollo and his incredible rags-to-fame story and making it in Chicago and now LA – a must read q&a including a shroom fueled barn party in which he communicated with a cat to come up with the name Sonny Apollo – simply weird and brilliant stuff).
Music at Pride: Ryan Cassata at 11am, singer-songwriter Chris Urquiaga and pop-punk trio Ménage À Garage (not sure when the last 2 acts are going on or where the stage is exactly, but we’ll leave it to you intrepid folks to have an adventure figuring out all the whens & wheres).
According the the FNP: “Cassata, a transgender artist and activist, was named one of “11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know,” by Billboard in 2017.”
Here’s a video of one of Cassata’s songs:
Pride ends around 6pm – and while this isn’t an official post-Pride event -check out this really really really really incredible Frederick music show at New Spires Stages (formerly the Frederick Cultural Arts center at 15 W. Patrick St & sits across from the Weinberg Center). Did I fail to mention- really? It’s the 2nd (of 3) Summer Jams shows being put on by Americorp volunteer Kaitlyn Makers and she booked a dope-as-fuck lineup: Luna , Fun Boys and Time Columns + a Let There Be Rock school band Storms of September doing a short opening set. All the bands have made waves in recent years. Artomatic Frederick in 2016 hosted all these bands and since then, Luna’s opened for Violent Femmes at Flying Dog (and opened for them at Baltimore’s Rams Head), Time Columns played the Weinberg this past year and Fun Boys have been prolific – playing Ottobar in Baltimore and tons of other venues in/around the DMV.
I dare say this show is important to the evolution of the nascent local music scene; it’s a chance to let the board of directors at the chaotically functioning new performance arts venue that indie rock shows, hell, any kind of rock/hip-hop/electronic what-have-you-kind of show can be viable there. For years the mantra was that for the local music scene to grow (with the crop of amazing talented original bands ranging from underground hip hop all the way to hardcore and doom metal bands) what was missing was an appropriately mid-sized music venue – bigger than Cafe Nola/smaller than the Weinberg. But disfunction has reigned over at New Spires, 2 executive directors fired in 2 years, an utter lack of transparency, conflicts of interest and a proxy board that has been characterized as people who may be successful in their own businesses or establishments – but unfortunately utterly lack knowledge and know how about running a proper performance arts venue.
There’s a ton more to all this but let’s get back to Saturday’s show – Kaitlyn has been doing heroic work putting on the Summer Jams series. What everyone (save for a handful few) do not know behind the scenes was that with the lack of resources given to her, the 1st Summer Jams show on May 25th with WVNDER & Blue Heaven was nearly canceled at the last moment. No stage, no sound system, and resistance to having an all ages show was only the tip of the mounting obstacles for her – yet somehow she was able to figure out a way and pulled off a virtual miracle – and the show go went on with a decent crowd enjoying the atmosphere of a new (and practically unused) venue. There’s a lot more from our sources as to the obstacles that continue to be in her way, and it’s difficult to suss out exactly what the future of the venue will be given some of the troubling structural problems that’s emanating, but…for now, the musicians and artists appearing Saturday deserve your attention and support for creating original/glorious music vis-à-vis Luna, time signature defying math rock from Time Columns – and in the case of the Fun Boys – some weirdo/joyful/anarchy inspired rock – to which yours truly had to personally inspect the stage (four modular stages borrowed from Elizabeth Lucas’ Free Range Humans – brilliant on her part to help out) and one modular stage hand built to withstand all the jumping and other wild stage theatrics by a particular Sam Whalen of the Fun Boys – who undoubtedly will bring it to the makeshift stage. In case you were wondering: the stage passed the Sam Whalen test (and for the record, it’s also coincidentally the Mick Jagger test) and will not collapse into that good Saturday night.
I’m a bit hesitant in calling this an unofficial post-Pride event, but it’s safe to say all the headliners are in super support and vocal allies to LGBTQ rights. At the very least, sequentially Pride fest ending at 6pm transitions nicely to Saturday’s night’s show, which starts around 8pm and costs $10 – go here for advance tix or walk up to the venue to get tickets day of show.
Last bit of interesting info: all the bands playing have some tangible ties with the Frederick rock (Let There Be Rock) school: all the bands have one or more of its members as instructors there. And in the case of multi-talented Colin Shultzaberger – he doubles as the drum equipment repair specialist. LTBR represents. And even more reason for this show to be all ages. Stay tuned for the late July last Summer Jams show with Middle Kid, X2 Motorcycles and …Rozwell Kid as the headliner.
Ok that’s it from me. See you at Carrol Creek Saturday for Pride and for Summer Jams later than night. Peace in the middle east ya’ll.